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Thurles Musical Society To Stage “Michael Collins”.

Keith O’Dwyer-Greene (Michael Collins), Marie Therese Kirby (Kitty Kiernan) and John Hayes (Harry Boland) – three of the leads in the show which has been described as “The Irish Les Mis”

PRO & Vice Chairman for Thurles Musical Society, Mr Noel Dundon, reports:-

Award winning Thurles Musical Society is delighted to be staging the Musical Drama “Michael Collins”, by arrangement with the Michael Collins Production Trust.

The show will run in The Premier Hall, Thurles from Tuesday March 26th through to Saturday March 30th inclusive, with the curtain rising each night at 8:00pm.

This truly fantastic show; described by Director Oliver Hurley as “the Irish Les Mis”, was penned by the late Bryan Flynn with musical arrangements and orchestration by David Wray, and additional vocal arrangements and original musical direction by David Hayes.

It has already been staged to great acclaim this season by Coolmine Musical Society and Oyster Lane Musical Society, and Thurles will now seek to follow in their footsteps and bring this magnificent piece of theatre to a highly expectant audiences.

Thurles and Tipperary, of course, has many connections with the real life Michael Collins and the War of Independence. Indeed, Sologheadbeg in south west Tipperary is generally accepted to have been the location for the firing the first shots of the War of Independence one centenary ago this year, and though Collins was in the United Kingdom, breaking Eamon de Valera out of jail at that time, he was to include the likes of Dan Breen, Sean Treacy and Sean Hogan as members in his hit teams; latter known as flying columns, around the country later.

Loyalties Run Deep Across Political Divides

No matter where this show is staged, there will be many local angles to it. Indeed, within the cast of Thurles Musical Society there are many links to the Michael Collins story and loyalties run deep across both sides of the political divide with currently tremendous banter and commentary within the company as pro-Collins people end up in the anti-camp, and vice-versa as a result of the bass, tenor, alto, soprano divide. Surely Bryan Flynn never anticipated such a scenario as he consigned his thoughts to paper when writing this show. Or, maybe he did?

Front Line Cast

In any event Thurles Musical Society members are really enjoying their project and with a top-class front line, which includes Keith O’Dwyer Greene as Michael Collins, Cathal O’Donoghue as Eamon de Valera, Marie Therese Kirby as Kitty Kiernan, John Hayes as Harry Boland, Peter Donnelly as Joe Emmet, Frank Tuohy, Damian Sweeney, Nina Scott and Linda Ryan as the Abbey Theatre Players, Deirdre Hayes as Mother Ireland, and Jonathan Gleeson as Cathal Brugha, not to mention many more household names playing other roles; the audience is really in for a treat.

Mary Rose McNally is at the helm as Musical Director/ Conductor while Michelle O’Connell, Tommy Sweeney, Rita Dempsey and of course Oliver Hurley complete the production team.

This musical has attracted a company of more than fifty for Thurles, and the committee and those on stage are looking forward to welcoming all those who wish to come along to enjoy what is promised to be a top class production.

Booking Office

The Ticket Booking Office is now open for this major Thurles production at Bookworm, Liberty Square, (On the junction of Liberty Square and Parnell Street in the town). Tickets can also be booked on the Thurles Society Telephone at 085 2868726.

If you do only one thing this year to cast you mind back to the time of Collins and the War of Independence, attend this show. Expect to experience a truly theatrical tour-de-force.

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